Bible / Desires / James / Temptation

James: Desire, Burgers and a Lie

Think for a second what it means to desire: a strong feeling of want, to crave, to focus upon.
Now what does it mean for something to be desirable? To be seen as attractive, useful, or even necessary.
 Over the next few days I want to bring temptation to light by examining what it is, what it is not, and most importantly how to deal with it. Too often an extreme is taken, whether that is making more of temptation than we should, or even worse, taking it too lightly. My aim is to reiterate a few things you have likely heard before, but to tie it together in such a way that you see temptation as not only an opportunity but even as a necessity in one’s Christian walk. 

We begin today with the truth of temptation.
The best way I can describe desire and temptation is with a food analogy. Now everyone knows the facts about a burger – meat, cheese, buns, toppings. It is a burger, big deal. But when you are hungry that is not how you think of it.
You see that meat is perfectly cooked, crisp yet juicy. The cheese melts perfectly, leaving an equal hot sweet layer gently resting atop our meat. The toppings are as fresh as spring itself, they smell delicious and you pile them on. Then the buns, oh yes. The buns are warmed, so their soft but they give the burger something a little extra. You see that delectable dish, you smell it, and you want it; I mean your starving! It is almost 2 o’clock and you haven’t had lunch yet, that burger is exactly what you want, no wait, exactly what you need. 
I mean everyone needs to eat right? And burgers aren’t a bad thing, it’s just a burger. God made us with the necessity to eat so you have every right to satisfy your desire. You have every right to take hold of what is being flashed in front of you.
And you do. You take it and you bite the heck out of it. And it’s good, so good. You chew, extracting every ounce of delicious flavor into your mouth and then go in for another bite. Oh yes,this is exactly what you  wanted. 
But wait, you feel something in your mouth – something that definitely does not belong on a burger. So you spit it out and there it is…a nice big fat band-aid. You start praying to God that is ketchup on there.
Gross.
Yeah it is gross. You did not see that part and, for some reason, it was left out of the description.
And that is the first point I want you to understand. Temptation never gives you the full picture. Of course it is not going to tell you the consequences. But even more than that, it is not going to tell you everything that is involved with the particular sin. Like a commercial, the temptation only tells you the inviting parts, the attributes everyone likes; the disclaimer at the end gets muffled up. 
Temptation may not be sin in itself, but it is a lie. 
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